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Dutch Foreign Minister Says Israel Should Not Demand Eec Countries Abandon Their Venice Declaration

Foreign Minister Max van der Stoel said today that “Israel should not demand” that the European Economic Community (EEC) countries abandon their Venice declaration of June, 1980 as a condition for participation in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai. At the same time, he said “we cannot link our possible participation in the Sinai force with the condition that Israel should wholeheartedly approve the Venice declaration.”

The Venice document calls for the association of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Mideast peace process. Israel has rejected it as a basis for negotiations and has also said it would disqualify any nation that refers to a formula other than the Camp David accords as the rationale for participating in the MFO.

Van der Stoel spoke to reporters here in connection with the EEC foreign ministers’ consultations in Brussels on the Sinai peace force. “It is a misconception to believe that the EEC would be prepared to abandon the declaration of Venice on the Mideast in order to facilitate the establishment of the Sinai peace force. The EEC unconditionally adheres to this declaration,” he said.

PROBLEM IS TO REACH AN AGREEMENT

According to the Dutch diplomat, the problem now is for the EEC to reach agreement on “formulas for the political framework of participation in the peace force.” The MFO is to patrol Sinai after Israel completes its final withdrawal next April.

Van der Stoel refused to say which EEC country is opposed to a formula already drafted by the Foreign Ministers except that it is not Holland. The hold-out is believed to be Greece which reportedly refuses to endorse a declaration referring to the Camp David accords.

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